Chief Knockahoma: Alfred Morris still threat for Redskins in Jay Gruden's offense


With all the Daniel Snyder-esque acquisitions (read: out of left field with a wacky turn of events) in the 2014 offseason, many Redskins fans may have forgotten about their yard-churning beast in the backfield. Don’t.

Alfred Morris, coming off consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, is the powerful rotor that will stabilize the ship when the rocky season starts. Critics pointed out that Morris’ success was largely tied to Mike Shanahan’s running back-friendly, zone-blocking scheme. But let’s respectfully disagree.

A dominant downhill runner who thrives by squeezing out yards in between the tackles, we believe No. 46 can still flourish in Jay Gruden’s system.

Gruden brings to D.C. an interchangeable West Coast scheme, one that incorporates multiple offensive concepts, including pieces of Shanahan’s zone-blocking looks. The bread-and-butter of the former offensive coordinator’s tactics revolved around a multi-faceted, single back “Ace” formation—where Alf excels.

The acquisitions of wideouts DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts, as well as guard Shawn Lauvao insinuate that Gruden plans on evolving the offense’s vertical attack. Jackson and Roberts— who by the way are excellent inclusions— coupled with a formidable set of pass-catchers, Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed, should open up holes for Morris in the Redskins’ ground game.

Morris has traditionally been a two-down back, replaced by more nimble-footed players who could both pass-protect and catch the ball on third downs. However, we think that Morris’ inner-drive to develop into a more complete back will help him to become a mainstay in the Redskins offensive game plan going forward.

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